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Comment: Re:it's means it is (Score 1) 132

by Golden_Rider (#47905233) Attached to: 3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive

Looks like it only 40 parts (including engine, electronics, etc). The video of driving car is only 40 parts. Did you see they printed most of the car in one pass as a single part?

So you say a car engine is made out of only 40 parts? Looked like more parts to me last time I looked under the hood of my car.

Transportation

Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction 326

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-behavioral-incentive-strong-enough dept.
An anonymous reader writes: While legislators and police try to tackle the epidemic of distracted driving through education, regulation, and enforcement, Scott Tibbitts is trying to solve it through engineering. He developed a small device which, when plugged into a vehicle, would determine which phone belonged to the driver and shut off its texting and voice call capabilities. "The telematics box sends a wireless message that the car is moving. The phone sends its own message about its location. Both sets of information — from the car and phone — are sent to Katasi's servers. Then, an algorithm weighs the incoming data with other information, like the location of the phones belonging to all the people who drive the car and the starting point of the trip; if the trip starts at Junior's high school, and mom and dad's phones are at work, the driver has been identified — Junior is driving."

The problem is that Tibbitts can't get anyone interested in setting up a system to make these devices ubiquitous. Consumers can't be sold on such a product: all evidence suggests people are increasingly unwilling to be cut off from constant communication. So, he tried working with carriers. Sprint partnered with Tibbitts long enough to test the device, but they were afraid of the legal risks involved. Now, Tibbitts is nursing the technology along, looking for a way to get it into cars and make people safer.
Facebook

Facebook's Auto-Play Videos Chew Up Expensive Data Plans 108

Posted by timothy
from the rude-to-users-is-the-short-term-business-mindset dept.
Another good reason to be annoyed by autoplaying videos online: it eats up dataplan allowances, making for some rude surprises. I'm always nervous about data allowances, and sites should be cautious about what they shove at you; turning off the autoplay feature isn't hard (and it's explained in the second article linked above), but I sure wish it was the default setting, or at least caught and handled by a browser extension. (Perhaps this is a job for Social Fixer's next iteration.) Is Facebook the worst offender on this front?

Comment: Re:"they shouldn't email you?" (Score 1) 232

by Golden_Rider (#47694687) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

I really wouldn't want E-mail deleted while I'm out of office. Just the fact that I would have to ask everyone who E-mailed me to resend.

The expectation is that the sender reads the automatic reply, which says something like "X is on vacation and cannot be reached, so your mail will be deleted. If it was about something important, please mail Y". So you should not have to ask people to resend the mail, because they either wait for you to come back, or send a mail to your colleagues who are not on vacation (and if it is was something private like "want to go see a movie tonight?", people surely know your private email/phone number, too).

Comment: Re:"they shouldn't email you?" (Score 3, Interesting) 232

by Golden_Rider (#47694645) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

I've never interpreted these auto-replies to mean that I shouldn't send mail to that address. I thought they're just courtesy replies from a robot explaining that it'll be a long time before anyone reads it.

Deleting the email seems like a bad idea. That'll keep the recipient from being able to read it when they return.

And WTF does this have to do with overtime?

In theory you could just let the emails sit there until you are back at work, but in practice sadly it is often expected that you check your email inbox every now and then. Employees often feel that they can't say "no" to the expectation that they have to be available via email even while at home off work hours. To protect employees (because vacations and off work time are to be protected, for health reasons), there are discussions in Europe about introducing new regulations which would make any such "off work work" paid overtime, by law - effectively making it financially interesting for companies to prevent emails from reaching their employees when they are off work. This Daimler story is just one example of that.

Comment: Re:3dTV is a flop? (Score 2) 197

by Golden_Rider (#47688321) Attached to: Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

Then why do all the TVs over 50 inches include it?

Included =/= being used. My TV is 3D capable, yet I never use that feature, because I consider it to be a gimmick. If there had been a cheaper version of my TV without 3D capability, I would have bought that one (same for all the "smart TV" Internet features, btw - all I want is a huge display with a couple HDMI inputs...). Sadly, that option did not exist. My totally unscientific research among friends/relatives shows that if they have a 3D TV, at most it has been used for one or two 3D movies like Ice Age "for the kids" to try it out, and that's it.

Comment: No. (Score 1) 381

by Golden_Rider (#47439805) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

The smart watches, as they are being offered right now, do not interest me at all. They look ridiculous, the battery life is horrible and they are not good at being WATCHES.

A "smart watch" which would interest me would have some or all of these features:

- looks like a normal, elegant watch - i.e. leather or steel wristband (NO plastic!), round, not too heavy, elegant design (either like a standard chronograph or some "bauhaus"-y look). Basically nothing which screams "I am a geek".
- long battery life. By that, I mean AT LEAST a week, better a month or more.
- maybe health monitoring features (pulse, steps, ...)
- shows time without having to be "activated" (i.e. no having to touch the screen or hit a button to show something)
- best "display" option for battery life would be standard hour/minute dials plus a tiny little LCD screen for text (a line or two)
- possibility to link to a smartphone to show notifications (e-mail subject lines, sms), but nothing more, since tft/amoled screens plus touchscreen features plus voice recognition plus apps mean low battery life, so it's simply a no-no. Basically, I just want to have a look at the watch to see if it is worth taking out my smartphone to read the e-mail which just arrived or not. I do not want to actually read the e-mail or type a reply or make a phone call via the watch. Especially NOT make a phone call. Holding your watch up to your face and talking to it might look cool in some old James Bond movie, but in reality it is just stupid.

something which is kind of there, except for the little LCD display for notifications, is the Withings Activité:

http://www.withings.com/activi...

Looks like a standard, expensive watch. Has health monitoring which can send data to an app on your smartphone. Has a battery life of A YEAR with a standard CR2025 battery, despite low energy bluetooth connectivity to the smartphone.

Comment: Re:Buyer's Remorse (Score 1) 140

by Golden_Rider (#47237257) Attached to: EU's Online Shoppers Get an Extended "Cooling Off Period"

That doesn't sound like something that happens a lot. Do you always make decisions based on extreme events?

It happens a lot here in Germany, people ordering e.g. clothing (several trousers, shirt, etc.) and only keeping the ones they like, sending the rest back again. It really is pretty common, people use the right to return merchandise bought online as a replacement for trying out various items at a shop. A big reason for that is that until yesterday, the SELLER had to pay postage for the returns, so there was no penalty for the buyer if he ordered more than he actually needed. Guess we will see soon if the new law (buyer has to pay for the return shipping) servers as a deterrent. For the same reason, it was also not unusual for people to order e.g. a digital camera, use it for a week (e.g. to take photos at a wedding/birthday/...) and then send it back for free. I remember reading reports about Amazon, Zalando (another big online shop in Germany) etc. "throwing out" customers because of a return rate which was too high. E.g. here is a thread (in German) in which customers discuss this, and their general opinion seems to be "I order x items and return half of them, that's normal because I want to try out": http://forum.glamour.de/thread...

Another thin - I always wondered why even items which usually are not returnable for hygienic reasons (e.g. underwear, towels, stuff like that) ARE returnable when bought online. There was a TV documentary a while ago on German TV in which online shops explained why the return rights hurt them a lot - online shops for electronics etc. can just restock the stuff, maybe at a reduced price if it already has been opened, but items like underwear etc. CANNOT be restocked, they (by law) have to be thrown away. So it really makes not much sense for an online shop to sell stuff like that if it is so easy for customers to return the items - the shop has to pay for postage AND loses the money for the items because they cannot be sold again.

Comment: Re:Cherry Pick Stats (Score 1) 411

by Golden_Rider (#47153023) Attached to: Apple WWDC 2014: Tim Cook Unveils Yosemite

My spouses 4S is working just fine with 7.1. Since 8 is not going to have a greater overhead in it's basic operations, there's no reason not to make it available to any phone that can run the current IOS.

I do not understand your problem. The 4S WILL get iOS 8. Like the parent posters wrote, only the 4 (non-S) won't receive the update.

Comment: Re:The difference with the USA (Score 2) 80

...is that Germany is much closer to being a true and functioning democracy. I don't see how this would come through the Bundestag, the German parliament, without being at least watered down, viz. being quietly forced into starvation as soon as a left-leaning government comes into power.

Nope, it will be as usual.

"Diplomacy" is absolutely necessary (all governments know that the others are spying, too, which is important for secret behind-the-scenes deals, so nobody can just STOP spying just because the masses are against it). The spying will go on, while the politicians - in public - will claim to be against it. So when the next Snowden shows up and publishes proof that spying indeed DOES happen, the politicians can claim to not have known about it, some heads will roll, the politicians will promise that something like this will never happen again, while secretly handing over more money to fund BETTER spying.

Comment: Re:Game fairness (Score 1) 252

by Golden_Rider (#47062467) Attached to: Blizzard Sues <em>Starcraft II</em> Cheat Creators

If I want to play the game with cheats that's my fucking business.

It's not if you cheat in multiplayer games against other Blizzard customers and ruin their fun, because then it causes financial losses for Blizzard (if those other customers decide not to buy another Blizzard product because of their bad playing experience).

If you want to use cheats in single player games, that's perfectly fine (and you do not need to buy a cheat tool for that anyway, Blizzard thoughtfully already provides cheat codes for that).

Comment: Interesting, but ultimately pointless comparison (Score 2) 201

Yes, the videos made by the Galaxy Note show more details (in this particular comparison which only included sunny outside scenes). But what does that mean? That under optimal lighting situations the DSLR from 2012 which can only do 1080p video shows less detail than a smartphone from this year which can do 4K? I could have told you that before. He could have also used a GoPro Hero3+ Black, which can also do 4K and costs half as much as the Galaxy Note.

Film makers use DSLR to make movies because of the lenses and the low light performance of the sensors, which are far better than what you will ever find on a smartphone - it is simple physics, nobody would want to carry around a smartphone which weighs 2kg or more to get the same optical performance / depth of field which the DSLR lenses allow. Yes, the DSLR makers are a bit behind when it comes to shooting video (as far as I know, Nikon is so far only considering making 4K video available and from Canon, only the obscenely expensive EOS-1DC can do 4K) - but that is because these cameras are primarily PHOTOGRAPHY devices and not video cameras.

If you'd switch the test around and made a comparison of photos shot with the DSLR and the Galaxy Note (and compared stuff like noise, distortion, sharpness in the corners of the picture, picture quality when using the built-in flash of the phone and a dedicated flash on the DSLR), you'll see that the DSLR is better at what it is designed to do than the smartphone and that there is a reason why it is more expensive.

So yes, under optimal lighting conditions, the 4K video mode of the Galaxy Note has a better resolution than the EOS 5D Mark III. It's just a bit of a pointless comparison, because it only compares one single aspect, like only comparing the acceleration of two vehicles and then declaring the faster one the better car, completely ignoring that some people might be interested in a different aspect, like ride quality, space, top speed or fuel consumption.

Comment: Re:Microsoft Has These Patches (Score 1) 345

by Golden_Rider (#46904197) Attached to: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw

yup.. and I *strongly* suspect there will be a "leakage" of these patches, probably into a downloadable disk image that those who stay with XP will be able to obtain fairly easily.. of course, mom+pop XP user, likely not so much.. but for those in the know, who, for whatever reason, hasn't dumped MS for something better (hint: Linux)... They'll be able to find these patches fairly easily. Of course, MS will slap any site down that carries these "unauthorized" patches, but then the game of
"Whack-A-Mole" comes to mind...

I'd be surprised if those patches won't be watermarked in some way so that it will be possible to figure out the source of the leak.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

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